Kids Century – Part IV

Kids Century

1956 – 1966

 

 

This annotated list of classics and favorites was compiled by Sally Epp, children’s librarian at the Belle Isle Library (part of the Metropolitan Library System).

Every book listed is still in print and available for check out through Interlibrary Loan.

When available and in public domain, book titles are linked to free electronic text.

Please choose books for your children thoughtfully, as books for a wide range of ages, interests, and developmental levels have been included.

Key—  E=Easy Reader  |  T=Tween  |  JF=Juvenile Fiction  |  YA=Young Adult  |  TNF=Tween Nonfiction  |  JNF=Juvenile Nonfiction

 

1956
JF
The Hundred and One Dalmatians
by Smith, Dodie

The loving Dalmatian parents, Pongo and Missis, set off on a dangerous journey to rescue their fifteen puppies who have been stolen by the flamboyantly evil Cruella de Vil.

1956
E
A Tree is Nice
by Udry, Janice

Janice Udry describes all of the things that make a tree “nice” with simple verses and lovely, award winning illustrations.

1957
E
Little Bear
by Minarik, Else Holmelund

The first ever “I Can Read Book” for beginning readers, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, introduces Little Bear with stories about birthday soup, winter fur and a trip to the moon.

1957
E
The Cat in the Hat
by Seuss, Dr.

The Cat in the Hat livens up a boring, rainy afternoon with “lots of good fun that is funny” — but messy — even though he should not be there when mother is out.

1957
JF
Rifles for Watie
by Keith, Harold

This Oklahoma author tells of a Kansas farmer who hates the violence of the Civil War, and gets involved with both a Union Volunteer corps and a Native American Confederate unit.

1958
JF
A Bear Called Paddington
by Bond, Michael

While at Paddington Station in London, the Browns find a bear from Darkest Peru who loves marmalade and has a sign around his neck that says “please look after this bear.”

1958
E
Danny and the Dinosaur
by Hoff, Syd

When Danny goes to the museum he befriends a dinosaur, and spends the day with him doing all sorts of things, from eating ice cream to playing hide-and-seek.

1958
JF
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
by Speare, Elizabeth George

When Kit moves from the Caribbean to a strict Puritan colony, she is accused of being a witch because of her spirited personality and her friendship with a reclusive old woman.

1959
JF
My Side of the Mountain
by George, Jean Craighead

Sam relies on his intelligence and determination to survive for an entire year, alone in a hollow tree in the Catskill mountains.

1959
E
Little Blue and Little Yellow
by Lionni, Leo

Colors blend, both in friendship and on paper, in this tale of two children, Little Yellow and Little Blue, who together become green and don’t mind at all that they are different.

1960
JF
The Cricket in Times Square
by Selden, George

Native New Yorkers Tucker Mouse, Harry Cat and Mario, the son of a newsstand owner, befriend Chester, a musically talented country cricket in Times Square.

1960
E
Green Eggs and Ham
by Seuss, Dr.

Sam-I-Am tries everything he can think of to convince a reluctant friend to try green eggs and ham in this ridiculous and rhythmic story for beginning readers.

1960
E
Bedtime for Frances
by Hoban, Russell

Frances is wide awake but everyone else is ready for bed, so the lively little badger delays her bedtime, and everyone else’s, with lots of last minute questions and activities.

1960
JF
Island of the Blue Dolphins
by O’Dell, Scott

Karana is accidentally left behind when her people abandon their island home, but she survives with courage and strength, in isolation on the Island of the Blue Dolphins.

1961
JF
Where the Red Fern Grows
by Rawls, Wilson

Billy dreams of owning two coonhound pups, and when he finally earns them, the three are inseparable as they roam the Ozarks of Northeastern Oklahoma in search of adventure.

1961
JF
James and the Giant Peach
by Dahl, Roald

James and his gigantic insect friends begin a magical journey when they climb inside a giant peach, snip the stem, and roll away from the evil aunts, towards the unknown.

1961
JF
The Incredible Journey
by Burnford, Shelia Every

A young Labrador retriever, a wise old Terrier and a persnickety Siamese cat travel over two hundred miles through the Canadian wilderness on an incredible journey home.

1962
E
The Snowy Day
by Keats, Ezra Jack

This beautifully illustrated story about a young boy waking up to find his world transformed by snow was the first full color picture book to feature an African American character.

1962
E
The Big Honey Hunt
by Berenstain, Stan

Papa Bear shows Brother Bear how smart bears hunt for honey, with disastrous but hilarious results in the first ever Berenstain Bear book.

1962
JF
A Wrinkle in Time
by L’Engle, Madeline

Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their neighbor Calvin conquer evil with the power of love as they search for Meg’s missing father in a fantastic journey across time and space.

1962
E
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
by Zolotow, Charlotte

Mr. Rabbit helps a little girl search through all the colors of the rainbow to find the perfect birthday present for her mother.

1963
T
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective
by Sobol, Donald J.

Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown, boy detective, sets up a detective agency and solves mind-boggling mini-mysteries using his encyclopedic brain.

1963
E
Amelia Bedelia
by Parish, Peggy

Amelia Bedelia is a housekeeper who follows instructions literally, so hilarious things happen when she is asked to “dust” the furniture and “draw” the drapes.

1963
E
Swimmy
by Lionni, Leo

Big fish eat little fish, but Swimmy, a little black fish in the middle of a school of little red fish, comes up with an ingenious way to protect his friends from being eaten.

1963
E
Where the Wild Things Are
by Sendak, Maurice

When Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, he is sent to his room, and soon finds himself in a faraway land where he is king of all the wild things.

1964
E
Giving Tree
by Silverstein, Shel

This moral tale is about a tree that loves a little boy so much that it gives the boy anything he asks for…but will the boy be happy when each request is granted?

1964
JF
Harriet the Spy
by Fitzhugh, Louise

Harriet spies on people and records her observations in a secret notebook, but when her friends find her notebook she must deal with the painful consequences of her actions.

1965
E
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
by Waber, Bernard

Lyle the crocodile lives with a family in a house on East 88th Street in New York City, but when a cranky neighbor sends Lyle to the zoo he’s afraid he’ll lose his family forever.

1965
JF
The Black Cauldron
by Alexander, Lloyd

Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper, feisty Princess Eilonwy and loyal Gurgi fight to destroy the evil Black Cauldron, in this second volume of the acclaimed Chronicles of Pyrdain.

1965
JF
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
by Cleary, Beverly

Ralph the mouse lives in the wall of a hotel room, and when Keith leaves a toy motorcycle out where Ralph can find it, he begins a series of exciting midnight explorations.

1965
JF
Gentle Ben
by Morey, Walt

It’s lonely in the Alaskan wilderness for Mark until his father rescues a huge but gentle bear from an abusive owner who has convinced the town that the bear should be feared.

1966
E
Kick, Pass and Run
by Kessler, Leonard P.

Even kids who would rather be outside playing will enjoy this beginning reader that explains the basics of football.

1966
E
Sam, Bangs and Moonshine
by Ness, Evaline

Samantha’s father, a no-nonsense fisherman, says the opposite of reality is moonshine, and Sam’s wild tales of moonshine cause trouble for her cat Bangs and her friend Thomas.

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